The third and fourth quarterfinals of FIFA World Cup 2018 to decide the final two semifinalists will be played today (July 7, Saturday). While 1966 FIFA World Cup winner England face Sweden in the first match at 7:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST) in Samara Arena, Samara; the second quarterfinal will see hosts Russia take on Croatia at 11:30 pm in Sochi's Fisht Stadium.
Sweden reached the World Cup final in 1958 which they hosted and lost to Brazil 2-5 in the final. Since then Sweden have never reached those heights. England, too, have come with high hopes in many World Cup since their triumph at home in 1966 but have made it to the semifinals only once way back in 1990. They crashed out of the group stages in the 2014 edition.
The Russia-Croatia match pits two underdogs who have shown that football is a complete team game and not a collection of star players. The erstwhile Soviet Union of which Russia was part of till 1990 had an above average record in FIFA World Cup, having finished fourth in the 1966 edition and reaching the quarterfinals thrice. Croatia participated as an independent nation in the World Cup for the first time only in 1998 as it was a part of Yugoslavia till 1990.
Saturday, 7 July
Sweden vs England
Venue: Samara Arena, Samara
Time: 7:30 pm
Russia vs Croatia
Venue: Fisht Stadium, Sochi
Time: 11:30 pm
The winners of the two matches will meet in the second semifinal on July 11 (Wednesday) at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The match will kick off at 11:30 pm IST.
England: Goalkeepers - Jack Butland, Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope. Defenders - Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Danny Rose, Ashley Young, John Stones, Harry Maguire. Midfielders - Eric Dier, Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jesse Lingard, Dele Alli. Forwards - Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jamie Vardy, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck
Sweden: Goalkeepers - Robin Olsen, Karl-Johan Johnsson. Defenders - Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelof, Andreas Granqvist, Martin Olsson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Filip Helander, Emil Krafth, Pontus Jansson. Midfielders - Sebastian Larsson, Albin Ekdal, Emil Forsberg, Gustav Svensson, Oscar Hiljemark, Viktor Claesson, Marcus Rohden, Jimmy Durmaz. Forwards - Marcus Berg, Ola Toivonen, John Guidetti, Isaac Kiese-Thelin
Russia: Goalkeepers - Igor Akinfeev, Vladimir Gabulov, Andrey Lunev. Defenders - Mario Fernandes, Vladimir Granat, Sergey Ignashevich, Fedor Kudryashov, Ilya Kutepov, Andrey Semenov, Igor Smolnikov. Midfielders - Denis Cheryshev, Alan Dzagoev, Aleksandr Erokhin, Yuri Gazinskiy, Aleksandr Golovin, Daler Kuzyaev, Anton Miranchuk, Aleksandr Samedov, Yuri Zhirkov, Roman Zobnin. Forwards - Artem Dzyuba, Alexsey Miranchuk, Fedor Smolov
Croatia: Goalkeepers - Lovre Kalinic, Dominik Livakovic, Danijiel Subasic. Defenders - Duje Caleta-Car, Vedran Corluka, Tin Jedvaj, Dejan Lovren, Josip Pivaric, Ivan Strinic, Domagoj Vida, Sime Vrsaljko. Midfielders - Milan Badelj, Filip Bradaric, Marcelo Brozovic, Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic. Forwards - Nikola Kalinic, Andrej Kramaric, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic, Marko Pjaca, Ante Rebic